The following is an email to constituents from MD State Senator Michael Jackson. Read on to find out what Sen. Jackson has done for our state and which projects he has obtained funding for in our community. It is shared for your information.
2022 Session Wrap-Up
The 2022 legislative session recently came to a close and I can definitely say that this was the busiest session that I ever had. I was fortunate to serve as the lead sponsor for ten bills that successfully passed both chambers of the Maryland General Assembly and will become law later this year. I was also excited to secure a great deal of much-needed state funding for numerous projects throughout Southern Maryland. Details of many of these bills and projects are listed below and you can find a complete listing of all of the legislation that I worked on this year here.
SUCCESSFUL LEGISLATIONSB 51 - Maryland Pediatric Cancer Fund-Establishment
This legislation will provide grants for pediatric cancer research, prevention, and treatment to organizations.SB 91 - Baltimore Regulation-Innkeepers-Maintenance of Guest Records and Employee Human Trafficking Awareness Training and Policy
This legislation help keep innkeepers and their guests safe, as well as raise awareness for Human Trafficking. It will establish a requirement for all innkeepers to keep a digital record system of guest transactions. As well as a requirement for innkeepers and their employees to be properly trained for identification and reporting of human trafficking. SB 234 - Public Schools-Purple Star Schools Program—Establishment
This bill will establish the Purple Star Schools Program that was created to acknowledge public schools in Maryland that contribute outstanding services and support for military-connected students as well as their families. Purple Star schools will have a staff member as a liaison between the military and themselves, will provide web resources for military-connected students, provide transition programs for military-connected students, provide professional development for staff training related to military-connected students, and create military-connected initiatives to help involve the family or volunteer opportunities. SB 378 - Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland – Funding for Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission
This bill requires the Governor to appropriate $900,000 to the Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland from the Cigarette Restitution Fund in the fiscal year 2024 and each fiscal year thereafter; and requires the funds appropriated under the Act to be used for the purpose of funding the activities of the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission.SB 817 - Employment of Previously Convicted Individuals—State Agencies and Youth Camps
This legislation provides state agencies and youth camps better access to important background check information for those applying to work at local youth camps.SB 916 - Workgroup to Study the Fiscal and Operational Viability of Public-Private Partnerships for Charles County Public Schools
This bill establishes the Workgroup to Study the Fiscal and Operational Viability of Public-Private Partnerships (P3s) for Charles County Public Schools (CCPS). The aim of this workgroup will be to find ways to reduce the school construction and maintenance backlog in Charles County.
SUCCESSFUL CAPITAL FUNDING REQUESTS
The Bayside History Museum has been awarded capital funding of $70,000 for repair, site improvement, and a desperately needed HVAC system. This fund will aid the Bayside History Museum in keeping its building comfortable for visitors and provide climate control for current displays and collection closets.
Brandywine Elementary School received capital funding of $35,000 for the renovation and reconstruction of the playground. The current state of the playground equipment used by grades K-2 is not safe, with lots of rust and uneven grading. The children need an environment that is safe for outdoor play as this helps young children physically and emotionally grow stronger.
The Calvert Elks Lodge is set to receive $60,000 in capital funds to aid the site improvement of the lodge, including an HVAC system. Calvert Elks Lodge is a non-profit organization that invests in our communities through programs that help children grow up healthy and drug-free, meet the needs of today's veterans, and improve the quality of life for residents of our community This is necessary to ensure the health, safety, and comfort within the building. As Calvert Elks Lodge is a complete volunteer organization, these funds are essential.
The End Hunger Warehouse Food Distribution Program is mission-critical to feeding hungry families throughout Southern MD. The End Hunger Warehouse has received a capital fund of $128,000 for site improvements and the construction of a 21,915 square foot commercial-grade food storage and distribution center that will meet all state and county health department guidelines. The funds will help the EHCC support 73 feeding organizations with access to low-cost food, infrastructure, technical assistance, and shared resources.
Gwynn Park High School is receiving $60,000 of capital funds to provide a new school marquee sign, inclusive of an electronic video messaging display. The electronic marquee sign will provide an opportunity to increase awareness of school events such as graduations, sporting events, PTA meetings, concerts, plays, etc. More importantly in the case of a potential school lock-down and/or emergency, the electronic sign provides another tool to communicate updates and critical information.
Huntingtown High School is also receiving $60,000 of capital funds to provide for the construction of an Electronic Message Sign. The electronic sign will call attention to Huntingtown High School (HHS) from people passing by the school. It will provide an essential means of communication between the school and its community, parents, students, and teachers. As well as help with fundraising, awareness of events and news about HHS.
Southern Prince George's County Community Charities will be receiving $1,200,000 in capital funds for the creation of a viable community center for families, youth, adults, and seniors. The SPGCCC’s mission is to provide services that support the cultural, educational, health, and general welfare of the residents of Southern Prince George's County. This community center will aid that mission by providing a space in which a variety of community support activities can take place.
The Calverton School Building Renovations and Safety Project will be receiving $300,000 for the funding needed to repair and upgrade the HVAC system in one of its buildings and to replace two school building roofs on its 153-acre campus for safety reasons due to aging over time. The Calverton School is a non-profit, PreK-12 independent school located in Calvert County. The buildings and HVAC system were installed decades ago and need to be refurbished for the safety of the school.
Additionally, here is an overview of some of the most important budget priorities that the Maryland General Assembly addressed this legislative session. As a member of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee, funding these priorities is something of which I’m very proud.
Targeted Tax Relief to Fight Inflation
The Senate of Maryland, the Maryland House of Delegates, and Governor Hogan came together across party lines to enact nearly $2 billion in economic support for Maryland’s working families, retirees, and small businesses. At a time when Maryland has a historic surplus and a balanced budget, we invested in vulnerable populations who have spent a lifetime caring for others in a way that is fiscally sustainable and responsible. That tax relief package included:
- $1.55 billion in relief For Retirees 65 and older making up to $100,000 in retirement income, and married couples making up to $150,000. As a result, 80% of Maryland’s retirees will receive substantial relief or pay no state income taxes at all (SB405/HB1468);
- $195 million to fund the Work Opportunity Tax Credit to incentivize employers and businesses to hire and retain workers from underserved communities that have faced significant barriers to employment (SB598/HB2);
- $115.6 million in ‘Family Budget Boosters’ including sales tax exemptions for child care products such as diapers, car seats, and baby bottles, and critical health products such as dental hygiene products, diabetic care products, and medical devices (SB316/HB282, HB288, SB571/HB492, SB488/HB364, and HB1151); and
- $100 million to suspend Maryland’s gas tax for 30 days to provide short-term relief to Marylanders as prices at the gas pump increased quickly due to the events in Ukraine (SB1010/HB1486).
Producing a Balanced Budget for Fiscal Year 2023 that Invests in Maryland Values
The State surplus and fiscal outlook as we entered the 2022 Legislative Session was unprecedentedly positive. The surplus in State general funds, albeit mostly one-time funding, allowed the Maryland General Assembly to make transformative investments while saving for the future. We ultimately enacted a $61 billion budget that invests heavily in Maryland values, including:
- $7.9B for Maryland public schools, an increase of an estimated 6.8% from last year, in addition to another $800 million as a down payment on the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future;
- $14B in Medicaid funding to provide health care coverage to 1.5 million residents with $27M set aside for expanded dental coverage;
- $210M to improve the cybersecurity of our State systems to prevent future outages;
- $50M to address the workforce shortages in hospitals around Maryland;
- $50M for grants to arts and tourism organizations disparately impacted by the pandemic;
- $36M to support local economic development and revitalization efforts;
- $25M to expand workforce development opportunities through apprenticeships
I hope that you have found all of this information useful and informative. As always, it is my great honor to represent our community in the Maryland Senate. Should you have questions regarding any other issues that are important to you, please don’t hesitate to call me directly at my Annapolis office at (301) 858-3700.
Senator Michael A. JacksonState Senator, District 27